Corey Patterson Rumors
Outfielder Corey Patterson has agreed to terms with the Orioles, reports MASN's Roch Kubatko. He'll report to extended spring training. Patterson, 30, hit .292/.333/.478 in 418 Triple A plate appearances last year.
Patterson joined the Orioles in a January '06 trade with the Cubs, and was fairly useful in two seasons. He reached free agency as a 28-year-old Scott Boras client, but could only find a minor league deal with the Reds. He's since dropped Boras and spent time in the Washington, Milwaukee, and Seattle organizations, most recently opting out of his Mariners contract on March 31st. The O's have an outfield opening given Felix Pie's lat injury.
According to Kirby Arnold of the Everett Herald, Corey Patterson has opted out of his contract with the Mariners and is now a free agent. Arnold writes that with Eric Byrnes looking to have won the M's backup outfield spot, Patterson decided to look elsewhere for employment.
Patterson signed a minor-league deal with Seattle last December. The 30-year-old had just 30 plate appearances last season (15 with Milwaukee, 15 with Washington) and managed only a .207 OPS, but he did hit 292/.333/.478 in 418 Triple-A plate appearances in 2009. If another club picks up Patterson, though, it will be for his glove, not his bat. Fangraphs lists Patterson as having a career UZR/150 of 8.9 in the outfield, though his defense was barely above average in 2007 and 2008, his last two years of regular playing time.
The Mariners signed Corey Patterson to a minor league deal and invited him to Spring Training, according to Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times. The 30-year-old struggled through 16 games with the Nationals and Brewers last year, putting up a .207 OPS in 30 plate appearances.
The Cubs chose Patterson third overall in the 1998 draft, but he disappointed in the major leagues. He hit 24 homers, stole 32 bases and posted a .771 OPS five years ago, but hasn't matched that production since. FanGraphs likes his defense, however, so the Mariners do add depth to help patrol spacious Safeco Field.
After a tremendous run last year that resulted in the club's first playoff berth in a quarter-century, the Brewers sat 13.5 GB of a playoff spot coming into today's action, and sport the National League's worst starting rotation thanks to their 5.22 ERA. As Adam McCalvy of MLB.com writes, the club has a ton of roster decisions to make this offseason, although GM Doug Melvin says "We've got a lot of decisions, and none of them will be discussed until the end of the season."
Some of the issues facing the Brew Crew this offseason are...
- Impending Free Agents: Trevor Hoffman, Claudio Vargas, Mike Cameron, Felipe Lopez, Jason Kendall, Craig Counsell, Frank Catalanotto, and Corey Patterson will all be free agents after the season. The clubs holds a $3.7MM option for David Weathers next year ($400K buyout), and there's a $6.5MM mutual option for Braden Looper ($1MM buyout) that McCalvy says the club "will almost certainly pick up."
- Arbitration Eligibles: Dave Bush, Corey Hart, Rickie Weeks, Seth McClung, J.J. Hardy, Jody Gerut, and Todd Coffey are all eligible for salary arbitration. Coffey, who's been the club's primary setup man, figures to get a nice raise over his current $800K salary.
- Starting Pitching: As I mentioned earlier, Milwaukee sports the NL's worst starting staff. McCalvy reports that "Melvin promised this week that he would be much more aggressive this winter in his search for answers," and that the club might take a "little more chances and risks" than they're accustomed to taking.
The Brewers also have questions about the key up-the-middle positions. They have to sort out the Hardy-Alcides Escobar situation at short, and decide whether to try and retain Lopez or give Weeks another shot at second base duty. Cameron and Kendall have both made it clear they'd like to return, but those decisions will have to wait until the winter.
Milwaukee also must figure out third base, and whether Mat Gamel or Casey McGehee deserves the job. Prince Fielder has the other corner infield spot locked down, and is under contract for $10.5MM next year before being arbitration eligible in 2011, his final year before free agency. McCalvy also mentions that manager Ken Macha faces a lame-duck year next season, and that Melvin is fielding questions about whether another managerial change may be in order.
MLB.com's Adam McCalvy tweets that the Brewers have signed outfielder Corey Patterson to a minor league deal, assigning him to Triple-A Nashville. The 29-yr old Patterson hit .133-.133-.133 in 15 plate appearances with the Nationals earlier in the year, but spent most of the season in Triple-A. Washington released him last week.
The Yankees had also expressed interest in signing Patterson.
We already knew of the Yankees' interest in recently-designated outfielder Josh Anderson; Joel Sherman of the New York Post says to add the newly-released Corey Patterson to the list. Sherman says the goal is to find a fill-in for Brett Gardner, who broke his thumb on Saturday. Anderson and Patterson both have speed, at least.
In that same blog post, Sherman draws a connection between Chien-Ming Wang and Brandon Webb. He wonders whether both pitchers could hit the free agent market after this season. On a related note, we've heard that Webb will have shoulder surgery on Monday; hopefully just a clean-up.
Some links to (maybe) cap an already wild day in rumor-land:
- Joe McDonald at the Providence Journal thinks the Red Sox need to make a major deal.
- Dan Novick at the Hardball Times wonders if the Lee trade was a win-win.
- John Campanelli at the Cleveland Plain-Dealer gets reactions from Indians fans on the Lee deal. Suffice to say, they ain't happy.
- Nationals acting manager Jim Riggleman wants to see the team's core remain intact, says Chico Harlan at the Washington Post.
- Marc Topkin at the St. Petersburg Times says the Rays "seem unlikely" to make a big deal.
- Geoff Baker at the Seattle Times thinks the Mariners' deals today for Ian Snell and Jack Wilson probably spell some more trades on the horizon--potentially involving Jarrod Washburn.
- The Nationals released Julian Tavarez today, who had cleared waivers. Corey Patterson also cleared waivers and has been released from the Triple A club, reports Bill Ladson at MLB.com.
- David Laurila at Baseball Prospectus has a profile and some quotes from new Pirate Tim Alderson.
7:05pm: Chico Harlan mentions three more minor league signings for the Nats: catcher Gustavo Molina, pitcher Gustavo Chacin, and infielder Jose Castillo.
Chacin, 28, won 13 games as a rookie in '05. After that he dealt with elbow and shoulder injuries but at least got his own cologne. Castillo, 28 in March, hit .246/.292/.376 in 455 plate appearances for the Giants and Astros this year.
Patterson, 29, was awful this year with a .205/.238/.344 line in 392 plate appearances. He was above average defensively though. The Nationals were an odd choice for him given their crowded outfield.
Sosa, 32 in April, pitched in the Astros, Mariners, and Mets organizations this year. His claim to fame was his flukey 2.55 ERA in '05 for the Braves.
According to ESPN's Jerry Crasnick, free agent outfielder Corey Patterson switched from Scott Boras to Jim Bronner and Bob Gilhooley. Crasnick figures Patterson will sign a minor league deal given his .205/.238/.344 line in '08.
9:38pm: A bit more on the Reds from Jocketty via John Fay - Paul Bako won't be back, and the team has mild interest in Josh Bard.
10:56am: Mark Sheldon of MLB.com talked to Reds GM Walt Jocketty, who said he will not re-sign outfielder Corey Patterson. Patterson, 29, hit .205/.238/.344 in 392 plate appearances. This decade, only Alex Gonzalez of the 2000 Marlins had a worse OBP (.229) over 390+ plate appearances. Gonzalez, however, had only one PA in the leadoff spot (Patterson had 155). Patterson did play strong defense in center field this year.
Sheldon expects the Reds to attempt to re-sign at least two of their nine free agents in David Weathers and Jerry Hairston Jr. John Fay guesses the Reds will also talk to Jeremy Affeldt and Mike Lincoln.